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Webcomic / How I Killed Your Master

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"It is simple, Chan Sen. You can kill me and avenge your master, or you can listen to me and surpass him."
Liu Wong

A Kung Fu Wuxia Webcomic, written by Brian Clevinger and John Wood, drawn by Matt Speroni and lettering done by Jeff Powell.

A man seeks vengeance for the death of his master, Xu Li. The murderer, Liu Wong, offers him some tea and an explanation for his actions. This provides a Framing Device for the true story, of how Wong got to the level he's at today.

Notable for a consistently strong art style and dead-serious writing on-par with the greatest Kung Fu epics. You can find it here.

The comic went on hiatus in 2011, and was confirmed to be permanently discontinued in 2015.

This comic gives examples of:

  • Action Girl: Fang Lin establishes herself as one in the first two frames she appears in.
  • All Your Powers Combined: Wong's father's style is called the Divine Fist of the Unconquerable Sky, which is an amalgamation of all the styles he has fought against/witnessed.
  • Always Someone Better: From what we've seen so far, Lin seems to be this for Wong, and she loves to rub it in his face. Wong has mastered Fei Xian's Five Mantis Fists when he first meets Lin (or so he claims), but when they spar she utterly trounces him. Post-timeskip, he is being beaten 4-1 by some thugs who have ambushed him, and Lin appears out of nowhere to hand them their asses.
  • Animesque
  • Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: Definitely Master Fei and it looks like Sen is headed this way.
  • Art Evolution: The series starts out in monochrome, and shifts to color after the first chapter.
  • Avenging the Villain: Chan Sen, Xu Li's apprentice.
  • Badass Boast:
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Between Wong and Fang Lin when they meet in Xiao Chengzhen. A casual observer wouldn't pick it up, as their first reaction when recognizing each other is disgust, and Lin is constantly belittling Wong. But... they still join up and travel together even though they have no real reason to, and Wong goes out of his way to rescue Lin after she's captured.
  • The Big Guy: Zhang appears to be the muscle of his group.
  • Blood Knight: Zhang breaks out the Slasher Smile when Meng Qi tells him to show the guards their "papers".
  • Boisterous Bruiser: Zhang is huge, friendly, and loves a good fight.
  • Bold Inflation: Used liberally.
  • Bond One-Liner:
    Liu Wong: No, you should let me pass too.
    Bandit: Why would we do that?
    Four rapid KOs later...
    Liu Wong: It would have been the right thing to do.
  • Captain Obvious:
    Wong: You knew my father???
    Master Fei: Obviously I did! His dying wish would not have been to send you to live with a stranger! No more talking!
  • Cast of Snowflakes: Take a look.
  • Casual Danger Dialogue: Lampshaded by Lin:
    Fang Lin: Do let me know if this kung-fu fight interrupts your playtime.
  • Cherry Tapping: After Wong is curb-stomped by five Tiger Knuckle students, the sixth appears to beat him with a bitch slap.
  • Color-Coded Characters: The three factions vying for control over Xiao Chengzheng wear brown, yellow and blue, respectively. Also, Wong wears green and the Tiger Knuckle students wear red.
  • Contrived Coincidence: One after another. Wong and Lin are talking about Wen Yuan, Meng Qi and Xing Ba, the three men who want to get a hold of the governor's imperial seal so they can rule Xiao Chengzhen. Then, in the middle of the conversation, Wong just happens to pull the seal out of a well when he goes to get a drink. Then, while he's examining it, who shows up? The bandits Wong had fought twice before, who just happen to work for Xing Ba, and they notice the seal in his hand. After he escapes the fight, he just happens to run straight into Meng Qi himself.
  • Curbstomp Battle: Fei's fight against Ji Jiao and Ji Bao.
    • And if Fei isn't exaggerating, then Liu Feng's entire career was nothing but this. When you can say "I don't know what it's like to hit a man twice" and have that taken seriously, you're a guy who has kicked a lot of asses with very little effort.
      • After the Time Skip Wong has one of these to prove he's taken a level in badass.
      • And then the bandits come back to gang up and kick Wong's ass, indicating he should have taken a few more.
    • Meet Zhang.
  • Cynical Mentor: Master Fei views Wong as more of an annoyance than anything else.
  • Dumb Muscle: Zhang doesn't quite grasp the concept of sarcasm.
  • Deliberately Monochrome: The first chapter.
  • Dynamic Entry: Fang Lin does a nice one in her introduction.
  • Everybody Was Kung-Fu Fighting: It's Wuxia, what do you expect?
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: The story is the tale of how Wong killed Chan Sen's master, told in flashback by Wong to Chan Sen.
  • Genocide Backfire: Xu Li, fearing the fighting style of Wong's father, killed him and attempted to do the same to his son, even though the former took his secrets to his grave and the latter was completely ignorant of his legacy. Guess what drives Wong to learn Kung Fu now?
  • Genre Savvy: Chan Sen. Mildly. When Wong asks him to sit and listen, Chan Sen does. Someone's been reading Discworld.
  • Good is Not Nice: Master Fei, along with the rest of the Five Dragons, dedicated his life to protecting those who couldn't fight for themselves. He's also an utter badass and an arrogant dick with a Hair-Trigger Temper.
  • Grail in the Garbage: Liu Wong pulls the governor's seal - which will grant its bearer a claim to rule the region - out of a random well when he goes to get a drink.
  • How We Got Here: The premise of most of the strip so far.
  • Hard-Work Montage: One strip covers 29 days of running to get in shape.
  • Humiliation Conga: Wong's welcome at the Tiger Knuckle School. He arrives boasting to the headmistress about how he's a master of the Five Mantis Fists, then contemptuously dismisses the school's most accomplished student because she's a girl. He proceeds to get his ass kicked by every single student, one by one. In descending order of their skill. In old-age retrospect, he decides it was a humiliation he sorely needed.
  • Invulnerable Knuckles: Averted. A bandit's knuckles are shown to be reddened when he punches Wong, though this may be a previous injury.
  • Jerkass: Master Fei. Whether he turns out to have a heart of gold or just a heart of soul-crunching punches is still to be decided.
  • MacGuffin: The Imperial Seal, which all three faction leaders in the civil war need to be officially rule the province. Wong, having little to no knowledge of the surrounding situation, finds it accidentally.
  • Mighty Glacier: Zhang, of Meng Qi's merry little band. The man is huge, and a One-Man Army in hand-to-hand combat. And apparently can't keep up with the gang when they're off running to rescue Fang Lin.
  • Mythology Gag: "I don't know what it's like to hit a man twice," is one possible translation of a famous quote by Li Shuwen.
  • Nostalgic Narrator: The title should have tipped you off.
  • Oh, Crap!: Master Fei guards his family Kung Fu secrets jealously. Wong begins practicing them in secret. When Master Fei later strikes at Wong for clumsiness, the latter reflexively uses a very recognizable block.
  • Old Master: Present Wong. The story is how he became one.
  • One-Man Army: Zhang. Complete with lampshade hanging.
  • Pre-Asskicking One-Liner: Fang Lin and Wong run into a bunch of bandits.
    Fang Lin: I'll take the ugly one.
    Wong: Which ugly one?
    • And later...
      Meng Qi: Brother Zhang, our "Papers".
  • Promotion to Parent: Po serves as Wong's parental figure after his parents are killed.
  • Reality Is Unrealistic: Wong fights the same group of four bandits three times, with radically different outcomes. The forumgoers complained that it was unrealistic when the same guy knocked four bandits out singlehandedly and was trounced in their next two fights. However, this is how it can happen in real life. The main variable was the element of surprise, which is very often decisive in any battle.
    • In the first fight, Wong takes them by surprise, resulting in 4 quick KO's.
    • In the second fight, the bandits get the drop on Wong, and he gets pummeled. Then Lin surprises them and quickly knocks them all out.
    • In the third fight, Wong and Lin are together and the bandits have a fifth member. Neither side has a surprise advantage. They fight to a standstill for a while, but Wong gets a club to the head due to his showboating, which distracts Lin enough for her to get clobbered too. The fight is lost, Lin is captured and Wong flees.
  • Redundant Rescue: Wong and the rescue party learns that a hundred brick walls are as one to a Tiger Knuckle disciple.
  • Rule of Cool: Established from the get-go.
  • Sarcasm-Blind: Zhang is very literal-minded.
  • Scheherezade Gambit: Wong does this to Chan Sen, providing the basis for the Whole Episode Flashback.
  • She Is Not My Girlfriend: Wong and Lin again.
  • Shout-Out / Take That!: "This isn't goofing off— THIS is goofing off!" (Wong performs a Shoryuken.)
  • Slasher Smile: "Brother Zhang, our 'Papers'."
  • Statuesque Stunner: Fang Lin is quite a bit taller than Liu Wong, and Fang Yun is taller still. Though that may just be because he's really short.
  • Surrounded by Idiots: Oafs. I am surrounded... by oafs!
  • Troperiffic: Proudly, as per one half of the writing team's Signature Style. Just look at all the Badass and Evil tropes Master Fei embodies, fer cryin' out loud.